The seventh episode of the “Peace Matters” Podcast from Ponto and the International Institute for Peace has been released: “Radicalization/Nationalism/Genocide – A Threat to Europe?“
In recent years, we are more and more witnessing the mainstreaming of radical ideas and nationalism in western liberal democracies. The Covid-Pandemic, climate change and the fight for equal rights – be it for LGBTIQ, Women or other marginalized groups – are only some examples which lead to high polarization, often (mis)used by different political groups. However, extreme ideas have increasingly moved from marginalization to the mainstream of modern societies. What structures and mechanisms lie behind this phenomenon?
At the same time, the Western Balkans are still suffering from their difficult past of ethnic wars and nationalism which ultimately led to mass atrocities and genocide in the 1990s during the Yugoslav wars. Why are nationalism and radicalization so successful in Europe? What role do history and memory play in shaping narratives which lead to radicalization? How can genocide become possible and why are radicalization and nationalism a threat to democracy? Ultimately, what should be done to reverse these trends?
Julia Ebner is a Senior Resident Research Fellow at the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, specializing in far-right extremism, reciprocal radicalization, conspiracy myths and terrorism prevention. She is also an investigative journalist and an award-winning author of several books related to these topics. Her latest book Going Mainstream: How Extremists Are Taking Over has just been released.
Hikmet Karčić is a Research Associate at the Institute for the Research of Crimes against Humanity and International Law – University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has also authored Torture, Humiliate, Kill: Inside the Bosnian Serb Camp System (University of Michigan Press, 2022). He was the 2017 Auschwitz Institute-Keene State College Global Fellow who has written extensively on genocide denial and atrocity prevention. A sought-after commentator on international media outlets, his articles covering far-right extremism and mass atrocities have appeared in Haaretz, Newsweek, and Foreign Policy.
Stephanie Fenkart, Director of the IIP
The episode was recorded on 3 October 2023